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Mobile Number Portability: one mobile number across telcos to start on September

Mobile phone users can soon use one mobile number across telcos.

Globe, Smart Communications, and DITO Telecommunity Corp, three of the country's major mobile network operators, conducted successful initial interoperability tests on July 14 for mobile number portability (MNP) through their joint venture firm Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. (TCI). Hence, retaining subscribers' mobile phone numbers is all set for implementation this September.

"As the newest player in the industry, we truly are excited to provide this service to Filipinos wherever they may be. When we entered the industry, it really was to encourage competition and innovation. With the Mobile Number Portability Act, we have broken down barriers and have given the Filipinos the power of convenience to finally switch to their preferred service provider," said Adel Tamano, DITO chief administrative officer.

The three major telcos were incorporated in January 2020 to implement the Republic Act No. 11202 or the Mobile Portability Act. They tapped Florida-based Syniverse Technology as their mobile number portability service provider.

RA 1102 allows users to keep their mobile numbers even if they transfer to another service provider or transfer from postpaid to prepaid and vice-versa.

On a statement on Friday, the telcos said, "After the initial tests yielded positive results, the next steps will be to streamline the external porting process, implement fraud and security safeguards, optimize systems and backend business operations in time for a smoother and faster-porting experience for customers by September 30, 2021." 

The results of the initial technical tests are "within expectations," according to the telcos.

"The initial tests gave us a clearer view of the customer experience when they avail of the MNP, including the experience of customers as they interport to Globe numbers from other networks and vice versa. We learned a lot in the process and we will apply them to make the transition easy and seamless for our customers once the MNP becomes available to all," said Globe Chief Commercial Officer Issa Guevarra-Cabreira.

Smart Senior Vice President and Head of Consumer Wireless Business Jane J. Basas stated, "We are working doubly hard with our counterparts from Globe and DITO to comply with the requirements. This is aligned with our company's direction: customer-centricity as our True North. We have always been at the forefront of using technology to create better experiences for everyone, and the successful initial tests will help us understand and recalibrate our systems and processes, so we can make the MNP experience simple and easy for our customers." 

President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Mobile Number Portability Act in February 2019. All public telecommunication entities are mandated to provide subscribers, prepaid or postpaid, the option to keep their mobile numbers free of charge.